Jesus once said that His Kingdom grows like mustard seeds. They are very small, but they grow into trees that are very big (Matt. 13:31-32).

Prominent Christian writer Tom Sine, would call what EAPE is doing, part of what he calls the “Mustard Seed Conspiracy.” That is because EAPE has planted programs with small financial investments, but with big commitments in prayerful dedication, out of which great things have grown. Let me give you some examples.

Recently, on our EAPE sponsored television show, Red Letter Christianity, I interviewed Luis Cortez, the founder and executive director of Nueva Esperanza. Twenty years ago EAPE provided some seed money and support to help Luis start this ministry, which now impacts the lives of tens of thousands of Hispanic people in Philadelphia. Through his brilliant ability to organize programs and secure foundation grants, Nueva Esperanza now has:

  1. 250 students in the only bilingual junior college in America
  2. A high school with 750 students
  3. A career training center and a job placement program that serves more than 2000 persons each year
  4. A housing program that has rehabilitated more than 400 homes for needy families in North Philadelphia
  5. Organized The Hispanic Clergy of Philadelphia, which involves 90 pastors in a variety of cooperative ventures.
  6. Developed satellite Esperanza programs across the country

It is a wonder that Time Magazine has named Luis one of the 25 most influential evangelical leaders in America.

Also, consider the work of Herb and Carol Simonson. EAPE challenged them to go to the South Pacific island of Palau, where they became the cover sponsors of a vocational training program for indigenous people.

Then there’s Plant-with-Purpose, which EAPE helped initiate with a grant of $10,000, but now has grown to an independent ministry that not only has extensive re-forestation programs in the Dominican Republic where it started, but also in Haiti, and several other countries in Latin America and Africa. This faith based ministry has planted hundreds of thousands of trees fulfilling the Biblical mandate for environmental responsibility which to not only beautify the earth, but to reverse the devastating effects of soil erosion.

These are just three of the more than 20 programs that your giving has helped us undergird and/or initiate. In each case the small investments (mustard seeds) in some visionary young leaders has grown into something that staggers the imagination.

In another of His parables Jesus said: “So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how” (Mark 4:26-27).

Together we have planted some of God’s seeds, and “while we were sleeping” God grew them into great ministries. We are not about to stop now, so continue to give graciously, so that the God who increases all the efforts to bring “good news” to a needy world will continue to do His good work in and through us.